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Out of Place (IC)


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Grease. Oil. Alcohol. Lukos took a deep breath through the Gas Mask filter. Even the various membranes of the mask were not enough to hide things from his nose. This had been an easy party to track. Lukos crouched beyond the parking lot of the strip mall in Hanover. Peeking his head out, he could see the group of men standing under the overhang across the parking lot in front of the store windows.

One of the men raised a crowbar in his right hand. If he ran now, he could be on top of the man before he caused any more property damage.

Hide. Quiet. Stalk. Wolf made him stop and think. Looking up, he could see the various street lamps lighting the parking lot. If he had run across the concrete, he would have been a sitting duck.

Lukos turned to slink around the other side of the dumpster. He made his way around the lot towards the buildings, wincing when he heard glass shatter.

Inside the Rite Aid, the men were knocking shelves over, and pocketing anything that they thought looked worthwhile. Even the man in the back who was meticulously picking through the prescriptions at the pharmacy never heard him coming. Kssshhuuuhhh The only sound Lukos made was breathing through the gas mask.

One of the men was standing near the front counter presumably posing as a look out, and doing a poor job of it. The man stood with his back to the store front window. He was leaning on the front counter and snacking on a candy bar.

"Ah, ah, ah." Lukos pulled the candy bar out of the man's hand. "Don't want you spoiling your appetite. Have a sandwich instead!" Lukos' fist connected soundly with the man's jaw. Grabbing the man, he tossed him out the store window onto the concrete.

*THWAP* "Ahh!" The crowbar connected with the back of Lukos' head. He stumbled forward out the window, somewhat blinded by the impact. Falling to the pavement in front of the store, Lukos bathed in the light of the street lamp. The man he had just thrown was scrambling to his feet nearby.

"Yea! I got'em!" The man with the crowbar called to his friends. Four men poured out of the shop after him. There were now 6 in total. They all had some sort of weapon. The man whom Lukos had thrown pulled a chain out of his leather jacket. Crowbar. Baseball Bat. Baseball Bat. Switchblade. Machete.

Run. Hide. Kill. The odds were getting worse. Both he and Wolf knew it.

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"Now now boys, if your going to play rough then Someone might end up in time out so they can chill" I smirk, decending down into the ally from the rooftops. I was watching the scene unfold, at first just tailing this thug before one of his buddies called for help and the whole gang assembled to beat the snot out of some kid in a gasmask. Gotta love that goodwill towards men and everything. Not sure what the whole stoy is, or why the lone ranger here has a gas mask on. Makes me lucky I got a decent gimmick, I'd hate to be Misteress Miasma or something, I'd get laughed at everywhere I went.

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Lukos' vision came back to him in a hurry, bringing with it the realization that he was surrounded. The scent of oil and alcohol was even stronger now that the men were closer. But there was something else as well.

"Now now boys, if your going to play rough then Someone might end up in time out so they can chill" I smirk, decending down into the ally from the rooftops.

Cold rubber. Hair spray. Adhesive. The newcomer's smell was enough to tell Lukos she was definitely not one of the gang.

Escape. Wolf tugged at his senses. Lukos brushed away the urge to let the creature inside of him handle his problems. It was his screw up that got him into this. He'd be the one to get himself out. He curled his knees to his chest and sprung up from the ground, landing on his feet facing the small crowd of thugs. Kssssskhuuuuhhhh Lukos let out a breath and steadied himself.

Lukos raised his hands in front of him and faced the men. He raised his right leg slightly off the ground, balancing on his left foot and right toe. Rip. Tear. Wolf was ready for a fight and so was he.

Still recovering from the blow to the head, Lukos waited for whatever would happen next. He wasn't sure what the thugs would do, and he wasn't sure what that girl was planning either...

"Two?" The thug with the crowbar asked. "It don't matter. We can take on two. Hey, James. Show this wannabee heroine a good time, eh?"

One of the men with a baseball bat turned towards Aurora. He took a few steps toward her, patting his left hand with the meat of the bat. "Come here, sweet cheeks. Whadaya say we take a little time out together?" A devilish smile played across his face.

"The rest of you guys get ta show this punk why he don't mess with us." Crowbar man pointed at Lukos. His thugs closed in.

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Raising an eyebrow, I cant help but giggle a little bit. Sweet cheeks? who says that anymore. More importantly, this is freedom city, captial of all sorts of super shinigans. When someone comes floating down out of they sky and tells you to leave the kid with the gasmask alone, you do it. Theres a time for false bravado, trying to save face in front of his homeies, but then theres a time to swollow your pride and surrender with a lot more of your digniry, and probably teeth as well. "Dont you know how it works bucky?" I smirk, raising a hand. The temperature around the man immeadiatly began dropping "If you want to play in the major leagues, you gotta work hard in the cages first". Around the thug, ice began forming, crystalizing and spreading as it grew up around him, forming a chainlink cage of ice around the brute.

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"I... uh...Frankie?" Called the thug with the bat from within his icy prison. When the cage formed around him, he'd lowered the bat, spooked. Maybe he hadn't known what he was up against. But the look on his face plainly told Aurora he now knew he was out classed. He stepped backward, apprehensively, only to bump into the fence behind him. His expression shifted from one of fear to outright terror when he realized he was trapped with nowhere to go.

Responding to his friend's call, Frankie, the man with the crowbar turned and saw the ice cage as well. "Oh crap." came his flat response. "Duck!" He called to his friend, he stepped forward to swing his crowbar at the ice cage. The steel connected soundly with the icy links, but the cage held fast. The ice barely even chipped.

"Frankie! Help me!" His friend called from within the cage. He dropped his bat and wrapped his fingers through the cage links.

Meanwhile, the other thugs continued following orders. They spread out around Lukos attempting to take him from all sides. With large clumsy weapons to swing, it was all they could do to take turns attacking the masked vigilante. Swinging their weapons any closer to each other would more than likely result in the wrong person getting hit. Lukos remained calm and waited for the attacks to come. Maple wood. Athletic tape. The bat! Silently, Lukos spun to face the man charging him. He intercepted the overhead attack. Raising his left arm, he caught the bat where it left the man's hand with his own gloved hand, the length of the bat resting against the back of his forearm. Twisting in place Lukos delivered a nasty uppercut with his right elbow to the man's jaw. The man released his grip on the bat as he collapsed on to the ground unconscious.

From his orientation, Lukos could see the other fight with the woman unfolding. He was relieved that she could defend her self, it made his job easier. He also had eyes on the man with the switchblade. The other two were behind him, or to the side out of peripheral somewhere. They were still swinging around that machete and... Greese. Iron. Leather. The chain!

Lukos spun once again, bat in hand. Shifting his grip on the weapon as he turned, he raised the bat above his head. The man with the chain came at him with another overhead swing. They never learn, He thought. The chain wrapped itself around the bat, getting completely tangled up. Face to face with the man, Lukos growled, "Nice Jacket." He wrenched the chain away from its owner, throwing both weapons to the ground behind him with his right hand. With practiced grace and without breaking form he slipped his left hand behind the man's head and pulled it downward to crash into his right kneecap. The man recoiled and slumped to the ground, his face bloody.

Fight. Kill. Tear. Wolf was having the time of his life.

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One down Aurora thought, liting back upwords, hoping to stay safely out of range of the goons. probably being overly cautious, but better safe than clubbed upside the head with a blunt object. As she rose over the cage and got a clear view of the rest of the thugs. Three of them we're surrounding the gas masked wonder. Two more we're out cold on the ground already. Kids got some moves. Hell, maybe Im helping the wrong guy here. She hadnt a clue what kind of crazy kung fu he had going for him, but whatever it was, it seemed to be doing the trick. Looking down, Aurora spotted another one of the thugs trying to break the ice cage with a crowbar he dosnt seem to be making much progress, better keep it that way.. Pointing downword, aurora's palm glowed with a soft blue as a chilling bolt lanced out to hit the schoundral.

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The soft blue beam of light struck Fredie squarely in the chest. The front of his shirt froze over slightly as he was sent flying by the attack. His hand departed the crowbar, leaving it spinning for a second before clanking to the ground. He nearly immediately made contact with the ground, and bounced oddly to the right like an out of control baseball hit into the ground. His short flight came to an abrupt stop when he bounce off the front hood and windshield of one of the few cars left in the parking lot overnight about 50 feet away. The car's hood was dented, the windshield was cracked, and Fredie lay in a crumpled heap beside the car, frost still creeping across his clothing.

At the sound of a sudden woosh, Lukos turned to see the girl in blue lift off the ground effortlessly cushioned on an updraft of cold air. She flies now too? Lukos thought as her palm lit up. Suddenly a whole new smell hit his nose. Ice. And nitrogen? he was slightly confused and very surprised. But when the beam made contact with the thug's chest, his eyes were opened wide.

He had no time to consider the other man's condition. The last two thugs were immediately upon him. The only way he could tell the difference between the two thugs was that the smell of metal was stronger on the one with the machete. Also, it seemed the one with the knife had been drinking more, he smelled stronger of alcohol.

Alcohol came at him first, lunging for his stomach. Lukos easily side-stepped the sloppy drunken attack. Alcohol stumbled and now faced away from him standing near his left side. Almost simultaneously, Metal attacked him from behind. Lukos dropped his left hand behind him, and caught the arm before the blade made contact with his body. And not a moment too soon. The blade had come within inches of biting into his flank.

"My turn." Lukos gave a low snarl. Bite. Rip. Claw. Wolf chimed in.

He grabbed both opponents by the arm at the same time so neither could move. His right held the knife away from his body, while the left held the machete in place. Securing the first man's knife arm, he swiftly brought his right kneecap upwards and through it. He was satisfied to hear it snap. The knife clattered to the ground but didn't let go. Instead, he pulled on the arm. The man gave an agonizing yelp as he was pulled across Lukos' body and his chest met with another kneecap, which released the man into sweet unconsciousness.

One opponent down, Lukos released his grip on the second. Spinning to the right, he planted the elbow of his now free right arm in the side of the man's neck. Something snapped, and the man stumbled away dropping to the ground and spilling the machete a few feet away.

Kssssk huuuuhhh Lukos took a deep breath, settling himself after the combat, and straightening to his full height. Howl. Howl. Run! Howl. Wolf had enjoyed this, maybe a little too much.

Lukos became somewhat aware that some of the color was returning to his vision. He hadn't even noticed it was missing he wondered briefly what had caused it before he turned his attention to other matters. He looked from the girl in the air, to the man she had sent flying across the lot, and back again. When he spoke, his voice was low and had a touch of wariness. "I would tell you to be more careful, but I am not sure you broke any more bones than I did." Through his peripheral vision he could see the bodies of the other thugs writhing on the ground, clutching a various body parts. Waiting for the inevitable response, his shoulders rose slightly, like the hackles on a dog ready to fight or run at the slightest provocation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"oopse" Was about all aurora could say. She'd intended to put the guy out off the fight, but she hadnt been expecting him to get catapulted halfway accrost freedom. She saw the other combatant make quick, and rather brutal work, of the other thugs. As the last one hit the ground, everything went still for a few moments. THe gas masked wonder breaks the silence with a rather rude comment. Aurora would be the first to admit that she'd overdone it with the poor guy, but scolding her wasnt going to help much. At least he amitted she wasnt alone when it came to overkill. Anyway, it was in self defense here, so neither of them could really feel to bad about knocking these goons around. Live and learn.

"Ya, I guess that was a bit overboard, but I swear I wasnt trying to hit him that hard. Better make sure the guys ok." Aurora commented with just a touch of embaressment. "You want to talk to the guy in the cage? Make sure he dosnt have any other buddies ready to jump out of nowhere". Floating downword till she was back on solid ground, Aurora walked over to the guy she'd knocked into the street, carefully looking him over to make sure that everything was still working. Winter can certainly be dangerious to the unprepared, and she wasnt about to let someone end up seriously hurt because of her slip up.

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Upon closer examination, Aurora discovered that the man was nothing more than a teenager. A lot younger than she had originally thought. The boy has a pulse, but it is rather weak. He is alive, but without medical treatment, his condition could easily worsen. In short, Aurora determines that she had better call an ambulance, and fast.

"You want to talk to the guy in the cage? Make sure he dosnt have any other buddies ready to jump out of nowhere".

Lukos' head turned upward slightly. He sniffed at the air, "There are no others." He determined, if speaking to no one but himself. "But yes. He does need a talking to, doesn't he." Lukos slowly walked towards the man in the cage.

The man was cowering at the bottom of the enclosure. He barely had room to crouch in the cramped space. A wonderful place to interrogate someone. No where to run. No where to hide. Lukos thought. Wolf knew his prey was trapped, and it excited him.

Lukos crouched down near the front of the cage and focused his gaze on the man. His face completely obscured by the gas mask, and the sound of its constant rasping were unnerving to say the least. The man balked. "What? What is it? What do you want?! Please don't hurt me!"

"You know why I'm here. You know why I followed you clear across the city. I came to make sure you would stop."

"Stop what? We didn't do anything!" The man cried. It was only now that the man began to crack under his scrutiny that Lukos realized he wasn't really a man, and neither were the rest of them. He was just a kid. 16 or 17 at most.

How did I not notice? He thought. It's there, underneath all the other smells, the scent of adolescence. The scent of inexperience. It doesn't matter. He knew what he was doing... Lukos continued with the interrogation, "Didn't do anything?!" It came out as a snarl, but quickly returned to the low, threatening voice of before, "That's not what lady who's house you robbed would say. Nor is it what the old man would say, after you beat him bloody and took his money. Now you've broken into a drug store. That is not nothing. It is called a crime!" The boy only whimpered. "Tonight you will be arrested. And if you are lucky, they will treat your injuries before they lock you up. But make sure you learn this lesson, and learn it well. You had better hope that I do not catch you out here like this again. If I do, the authorities may never find you." Lukos quickly straightened up, and began walking away from the cage, leaving the boy to stew in his own terror.

Silently crossing the parking lot, Lukos stood above Aurora as she examined the other boy. "How is he?"

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Aurora felt a sesne of guilt creeping into her stormach and latching on to her chest with a vice grip, and it only felt worse as she looked the kid over. He was a lot younger looking now that the fight was over. THank heavens his condition was stable, for now anyway. She thought about trying to patch him up here, but that could only lead to more trouble. In short, this looked like a job for a paramedic, not a college girl in longjohns. Crap, How is this supposed to work? Ring ring 'hello, 911' 'ya, I battered up some punk kid pretty bad while he was trying to attack this guy in a gasmask.' That sounded believable. I bet the feedom league dosnt have to go through this kind of trouble. When The stranger retuned from inteogating the caged guy, Aurora turned to him, a bit of a grim look on her face, the guilt she was feeling almost pouring off in waves. She'd never really thought about how she'd have to end up hurting people in this line of work. "He's pretty banged up, worse than Im comfortable trying to handle on my own. He needs to see a doctor, and preferably sooner than later." I incline my head towards the ice prison and its occupant "What about him, anything interesting to say?"

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Lukos shook his head in response. "Not a thing, but then I wasn't expecting much. He's not the ring leader, after all. That would be the one you sufficiently incapacitated." Lukos made a vague gesture in the direction of the man on the ground.

I smell it on her. Lukos thought, The fear. The guilt. The insecurity. It makes me feel better.

We're in control here. We're the alpha here. He recognized the good feeling as belonging to Wolf. It was only because he felt like he knew what he was doing.

"Don't worry." He turned his head towards the girl in an attempt to reassure her. "The police make semi-relative patrols through here. That's why I attacked when I did." Lukos explained. "They would have had enough time to raid the shop and get away if I hadn't stepped in, but now that they're down for the count, the authorities can easily step in."

This feels good. I like this.

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Aurora smiled a little, feeling reassured that there would be police along shortly, people who could get these guys where they needed to go, be it hospital or holding cell. I stand, brushing a loose hair from my face "Well, if thats the case, I guess I'd like to say my work here is done, but in all honesty, It looks like you had everything under control without my help" I give kind of an awakword laugh, not really used to acting 'in character' for being a hero, holding the aura of confidence and bravado. Its not as easy as it looks. I still feel a little silly putting the costume on. So right about now, Im mostly trying to make the super equivilent of small talk, something Im not great at even out of costume. Hopefully it dosnt sound as stupid to him as it does to me "Im Aurora by the way, since we havnt really been introduced yet"

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"Call me Lukos." He replied shortly. "Under control or not, I appreciate the help. You never know when a situation will go bad."

As he finished speaking, his head suddenly snapped toward the street. Under the gas mask, a smile formed. A moment later, Aurora heard it. The soft sound of tires gripping a road, rounding a bend. The headlights of a police cruiser came into view, and it began turning into the parking lot.

Lukos quickly stooped down and pressed his face close to the crumpled form of the teenager. After a few sniffs, he grabbed at the teen's leather jacket and tore it open. The metal zipper simply rent asunder under his grasp. He pulled out a small bundle from an inside pocket. Opening it, he pulled out a license. It had the picture of a woman on it. "This is just a small portion of what they stole from her house." He dropped it on the boy's inert form.

Standing, he reached into the pocket of his hoodie. "And this," He withdrew a short length of pipe, "Is what he used to beat that old man senseless." Aurora could see a red tint covering end of the pipe as Lukos divested it onto the unconscious boy. "Those should insure that he doesn't see daylight for a while."

The Police cruiser turned their direction. Flashing it's lights and sirens' briefly, it approached slowly. Lukos turned to look at Aurora again. "I don't know what your relationship with the authorities is, but I'm not ready to develop mine just yet." He began to back away from the body of the boy towards the store fronts. "Thanks for your help." Lukos said quietly as he began to melt into the shadows.

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"Lukos, its a pleasure". There was a brief pause, and as she listened, Aurora cought the first sounds of an approaching vehical, followed shortly by the flashing blue lights of a police cruiser, out on patrol, just as Lukos had said that it would. Aurora stood as an observer as her companion began inspecting the unconcious boy at their feet, moving with a casual ease, like he already knew exactly what he was looking for. One after another, he produced a wallet, belonging to a woman if the ID was anything to go by,which he followed up with by displaying the weapon with which another crime had been commited, bludgoning a senior citizen. She could still see the blood, reflecting slightly as the flashing lights of the law enforcment appraoched. Taking his leave, explaining a preferance to avoid contact with the cops, Lukos vanished off into the night. Aurora stood there a moment longer, considering things over. Somehow, she'd never thought that facing crime would entail such up close contact with its grittyer elements. It was childish, in hindsight, for her to think otherwise. And yet, as she lifted off into the night, wanting nothing more to do with these brutes, she sensed that this dark underbelly, as repulsive as she found it to be, was something that she would have to accept as a reality.

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